Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Questions and Answers

Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker Questions and Answers


What is the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker?

The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker (DWH Project Tracker) is a comprehensive website which allows the public to access maps and key information about restoration and recovery projects funded as a result of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Why are you creating a Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker?

Only the DWH Project Tracker will track and map all projects funded by all DWH fines, settlement funds, and voluntary payments using the latest GIS technology.

The DWH Project Tracker will also summarize dozens of attributes, such as the total funding dollars per area or project type, so users can quickly assess where and how DWH funds are being used by all funders and implementing organizations. Users can overlay various geospatial layers with project areas for in-depth research and analysis.

Who is involved in this effort and how will it be maintained?

The partners who have worked to develop this tool include The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance), The Trust for Public Land, Ducks Unlimited, and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The Alliance facilitates cooperation with organizations that provide information to the tracker. They also created and host the web portal. The Trust for Public Land, Ducks Unlimited, and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities are key members of the team that created the National Conservation Easement Database (NCED). The NCED team used their expertise in geospatial analysis and financial database management to build the web mapper, database, and information collection process. The partners who developed the Deepwater Horizon Tracker will also maintain it for the foreseeable future.

What are the funding sources for the DWH Project Tracker?

The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker is financially supported by grants from public and private sources. A list of current and past financial supporters can be found below. These generous supporters enable the DWHPT team to update and maintain the information four times a year, as well as make improvements to the data, information, and visualizations.


  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • The RESTORE Council
  • The NOAA RESTORE Science Program


  • The Knobloch Family Foundation
  • The Meadows Foundation
  • The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Restoration Program
  • The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

(Last Updated October 28, 2021)

Projects and Programs in the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker

What types of projects will be included?

The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker provides information about restoration, recovery, and research projects funded only as a result of the reparations paid by the parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, including BP, Transocean, MOEX, and Halliburton.

We are not tracking funds that flow through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or funds stemming from class action lawsuits. We are not tracking Deepwater Horizon-related projects funded by entities other than the parties responsible for the oil spill.

How comprehensive is the DWH Project Tracker?

The DWH Project Tracker includes projects and programs awarded through the following programs:

Projects will be added as programs award money. The Completeness Report shows how complete the project list is for each funding organization.

Why don’t all funders have projects listed?

All funders are in different stages of development. Not every organization has received funding, solicited projects, or chosen projects for implementation. In order to provide the most accurate information, we only add projects to the tracker after they have been awarded funds. This is because sometimes projects are initially approved, only to be canceled before funding has been disbursed. Read more about the timelines for the DWH Funding Programs here. The Completeness Report shows how complete the project list is for each funding organization.

How are you collecting, reviewing and updating project information for the DWH Project Tracker?

  • Information Sources We collect spatial and attribute information directly from project funders who receive and disburse the DWH-related settlements, fines, and voluntary payments using this workbook. In the rare event that a project funder cannot provide certain key pieces of information, we may contact the project implementer.
  • Review and Oversight Protocol Project information is acquired from project funders who may undergo their own project review process. The information is checked for completeness and consistency by DWH Project Tracker technicians. The spatial information, which may include a project point and/or polygon, is acquired from project funders and is checked for logical consistency. If any information, point, or polygon is incorrect or incomplete, the DWH Project Tracker technician will work with their project funder liaison to improve the quality of the information.
  • Updating Information Initial project information such as dollars and acres are collected when the project is first awarded funding. Updates to those numbers are collected at the completion of the project.
  • Timeline for Additions and Updates Generally, new projects will be added as they are awarded and the information is available. The DWH Project Tracker will constantly update with new, up-to-date information. The Completeness Report shows how complete the project list is for each funding organization.

Can the public submit projects directly to the DWH Project Tracker Team?

No. Project information is obtained from funding organizations so that our information is consistent. If you believe you have found an error, please contact us.

What kind of information will be available to the public?

All of the information in the DWH Project Tracker is available to the public on our Downloads Page. In addition, a complete list of project elements we collect, along with their description, is available in our downloadable Data Collection Worksheet and in our definitions.

Will the DWH Project Tracker house technical or scientific data?

No scientific data will be collected. Scientific data for Gulf of Mexico Research Institute projects can be found by searching their GRIIDC portal. Scientific data for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process can be found by searching their DIVER explorer. Links to scientific data for other science and research funding programs will be updated here and on the “About the Funder” page as they become available.

What are KNOWN LEVERAGED FUNDS and how are they calculated?

“Known Leveraged Funds” are non-DWH funds awarded to projects in the DWH Tracker. They are calculated as the Total Project Funds minus the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Reparation Funds. Not all information sources track leveraged funds. The DWH team will add or update this where available. Please contact us for a detailed report of all known leveraged funds and sources.

Why are some projects or funding in areas other than the Gulf of Mexico?

Science-based evidence shows protecting large habitats or environmental systems can be the best way to restore and protect, for example, migratory bird species. DWH-funded NAWCA projects are restoring and protecting bird habitat in the migratory corridors of migratory birds affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and not just migratory bird habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.

A number of research projects funded by DWH sources are conducted by consortiums consisting of multiple institutions. Non-gulf research institutions in these consortiums were awarded DWH funds because the experts studying DWH-funded research questions are located at those institutions.

What do the points and polygons refer to on the map viewers?

In the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker maps, points refer to locations where project funding has been allocated. Sometimes project funding is allocated an area being restored. It could also be allocated to an institute where research related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is taking place.

Polygons show areas directly affected by funding or areas studied in a research project.

On the SUMMARY BY STATE page, why have you combined some projects into a MULTIPLE STATES category? How can I see which states these projects are working in, or see how much money each state is receiving?

On the “Summary by State” page, a number of projects are implemented by multiple organizations, sometimes in different states, all of which are receiving DWH funds. Because of the way the information is gathered, it is not possible to provide a breakdown of how much funding each organization received. Search for the project in the “Project” table to find out which states contain organizations receiving DWH funds. The PDF reports for each project list all implementing organizations as well as the states affected by the funding.